Head Retention?

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HEGENSCHWARTZ

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I am currently enjoying just my third homebrew but I am wondering why my head retention is lacking. My first brew was an extract, second a PM, and my third was AG. My first two had great head retention. I get about an inch of head but by the second or third drink it's gone, just alittle ring around the top. Here are my notes from brew day, hoping someone can see my error. I am planning to brew on Tuesday and don't want to this to happen again.
Recipe:
3LBS PALE MALT
8OZ LIGHT CRYSTAL MALT 40L
2LB MALTED WHEAT
8OZ TOASTED PALE MALT
1LB HONEY MALT
4 AND 2 AAU’S MT. HOOD HOPS
1LB CLOVER HONEY
CALAFORNIA ALE YEAST WLP001

Notes:
Mashed for 60 mins with 2 1/2 gallons at 151-152 degrees
Sparged with 3 gallons at 165 degrees
Boiled and added 4 AAUs for 30 mins
Added 2 AAUs and honey for 30 mins
Cooled to 68 degrees
 

Dr_Deathweed

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Have you changed how you are washing your glasses? Soap residue is a HUGE head killer for beer.
 

Arneba28

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I have had this problem with my PM batches, and the only thing that I can see is Honey Malt. both of the batches that I added honey malt to had little to no head. This theoretically should not effect it. Also, are they fully carbonated. All of my batches seem to have a much better head retention after about 6 weeks even opposed to 2-4 weeks.
 

BeerSmith

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Hi,
Looking the recipe over it appears you have a lot of adjuncts for the 3 lbs of pale malt. I'm not sure what style you are shooting for here, since it appears you have quite a mix of malts. Perhaps some kind of Honey Wheat?

In any case, the crystal and wheat malts should aid in head retention. If you still have problems with this batch, here are some other suggestions.

Cheers,
Brad
 

TexLaw

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The adjunct I see is the honey, and that might do it. Alcohol is bad for head retention, and adding a pound of honey may throw you out of of balance far enough to kill your head. If you want to add those nearly 100% fermentable adjuncts, you need to make up for it.

While you did add 2# of wheat malt, I do not know if you did a protein rest to actually take advantage of what the wheat had to offer. Try that in the future.


TL
 
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HEGENSCHWARTZ

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Yeah, I'm kinda learning on the fly while doing this. I think the protein rest was need. The bottles have been fully carbonated for about 3 weeks now so maybe I can still gain a bit of head. :ban:
I am going to check out that wiki page after work.
 

prandlesc

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While you did add 2# of wheat malt, I do not know if you did a protein rest to actually take advantage of what the wheat had to offer. Try that in the future.
TL
I disagree with this suggestion as a protein rest will make the head retention problem worse. Protein rests break down proteins taking them out of play - which is great to reduce chill haze, but protein in beer helps with head retention. Here's a link to a beersmith article on the topic - http://beersmith.com/blog/2008/06/25/enhancing-beer-head-retention-for-home-brewers/
 
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